Asia has been depicted as the new global hegemonic center replacing the United States, which is withdrawing from Asia, and Western Europe, which is embedded in financial and migration problems. China’s rise to economic, political and even cultural power has become an index of global influences while growth in India is regarded as a complementary phenomenon confirming the sustained economic dynamics in this large part of the world.
However, such a "rise" often takes place at the expense of global values such as democracy and environmental justice and the decay of nature. In addition, despite steady economic growth, a young population and the development of social media across Asia, a few countries in Southeast Asia have fallen under authoritarian regimes where human rights, freedom of speech and ethnic and religious diversity have been severely challenged. Given its multifaceted complexities, is Asia really on the "rise"? Is Asia on the "right" path of progress when political violence, censorship, and environmental disasters become instrumental to maintain political control and secure economic growth? How are these developments reverberating in daily life? Does history teach us anything?
Located at a geographical crossroads where people, ideas and trades intersect, the 2019 AAS-in-Asia conference hosted by Thammasat University in Bangkok in collaboration with Chulalongkorn University, Mahidol University, Kasetsart University, and Chiang Mai University, is pleased to invite scholars, students, development practitioners and public intellectuals to participate and critically examine and discuss these topics under the overarching theme “Asia in Motion: Asia on the Rise?” This event will be an opportunity for people to share their research and professional experience with a view to better understand the risks, challenges and problems that lie at the heart of "Asia’s rise," to explore its long-term history and cultural depth, and to seek appropriate solutions to address them.